Thursday, November 29, 2007
So far the most active team has been the Anaheim Angels, who continue to vastly over-pay for talent, swapping their Gold Glove shortstop to the White Sox for solid-but-unspectacular pitcher Jon Garland (10-13, 4.23 ERA) and paying $18 million bucks a year for the next five years to Torii Hunter, a talented outfielder whose career might be in decline and certainly isn’t worth $18 mil. I suppose that you can do so when your owner is willing to shell out $120-$140 million bucks a year. The Angels were fifth in payroll in 2007 ($109 mil), and they ought to run into the rarified air of the Mets ($116 mil), Red Sox ($143 mil), and Yankees ($195 mil) next season.
The Twins are talking about a deal for Johan Santana with the Yankees or with the Mets. The Evil Empire and its bumbling counterpart strikes again. Santana struggled a little in 2007, but that was just a run of bad luck. He allowed 33 home runs last season (1.45 HR/9) after allowing 24 in about fifteen fewer innings (1.00 HR/9), which is pretty much the sole reason why his ERA rose from 2.77 to 3.33 … Even an off-season for Santana is still fantastic … Backed with a decent defense, in a park friendlier to pitchers and buoyed with an offense capable of producing six runs a game, Santana could be a perennial Cy Young Award candidate. Oh, by the way, he’s 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA in three career starts at Yankees Stadium.
The Yankees would probably be willing to part with some talent like Joba Chamberlain or Phillip Hughes as part of the deal. Makes sense to add such a dominating pitcher to the rotation, which would patch up the biggest hole they have right now.
The Mets, equally strapped for pitching now that Tom Glavine is back in ATL, might be a better fit. Would the Mets deal for Santana if it meant packaging Reyes? Well, while the Mets have refused to part with Reyes in the past he played badly at the end of the season and the opportunity to pair Cy Young Award winner Santana with Cy Young winner Pedro Martinez is too tantalizing to pass up. One of the two New York teams will end up with Santana because they are the only teams capable of signing Santana to the $20 million dollars a year he’ll make on the open market in 2008.
On to Phillies news … The Phillies snared Shane Youman off waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates. I’m not sure what to make of Youman. Like J.C. Romero, he allows a lot of walks (3.5 BB/9), too many for my comfort, as a matter of fact, but like Romero he doesn’t allow a lot of home runs: 0.76 HR/9. I’m on the fence. I think there are some things to like and there are some issues. I’m eager to see how he’ll do.
The Phillies acquired Chris Snelling off waivers from the D-Rays. Looks like Snelling and Chris Roberson will battle it out to see who’ll be the fifth outfielder in 2008.